"These are not staged photographs, the animal cannot be arranged or controlled and therefore it does not pose. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, it is possible to capture character, to create portraits of individuals rather than records of perfect specimens."
Daniel Naudé (b. 1974, South Africa) first found inspiration for his striking photographs of animals during a road trip through the South African desert in 2006. His series Animal Farm focused on the ancient breed of wild Africanis dogs, capturing the animals in regal portraits. While they appear staged, the images are actually the result of patience and careful timing which the artist uses to highlight an uneasy moment of human-animal interaction. Expanding upon his early photographic work, Naudé has since continued to explore the South African countryside and rural landscapes further afield in India and Mozambique, capturing animals, both domesticated and wild, in a nearly fairytale world in which imperfections appear only upon close inspection. Notable group shows include Strange Worlds, Fondazione Fotografia Modena, Modena, Italy (2015), Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam (2014); and most recently Unseen: 35 Years of Collecting Photography at the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2019).
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